An Announcement from 4word Founder, Diane Paddison

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Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Ecclesiastes 7:8

Dear 4word community, as I write this letter to you, I am filled with nothing but gratitude and awe. When I first started 4word in 2011, I had a dream and direction in my mind of what I hoped I could accomplish through this organization, but to see now, ten years later, where God has brought the organization and the global community it has been able to foster, I have no words for the humble joy that fills my heart.

Like any organization, change and movement are a natural and healthy part of growth. To remain strong and true on our God-ordained path is to always be open to His calling and willing to follow where He leads. As 4word enters its second decade and a brand-new chapter, I feel a clear direction from God that it is time for me to transition out of my Executive Director role and bring in a new leader in my place.

I believe a leader should bring another leader in at a point in time when a startup has become stable, as is the case of 4word, so that new God-given gifts and energy can be provided to the organization. It doesn’t mean the Founder has to leave; however, the Founder should not “get in the way” of the new Executive Director leading.

Aside from my professional role at 4word, I personally am also moving into a new season. I am blessed to have two granddaughters in my life, Opal and Blohm. I want to be able to spend more time with them. In addition, my daughter Annie’s health condition has worsened. She and her husband, Adam, need me to support them more than I can now. Lastly, my husband, Chris, will work less when I work less and I look forward to the chance to have many more adventures with him.

When God made it clear that it was time for me to begin my transition from Executive Director to Visionary, He also divinely brought Sue Bailey into my path through a fellow aspirational and influential woman, Robin Greenlee. Sue loves Jesus, a fact I am steadfastly sure of as we have attended the same Dallas church for twenty years. 

Sue brings to 4word her God-given gifts of being a relationship person. She cares for her husband, family, and friends, in that order. Sue’s strength is fundraising and she loves to do it! It will be 75% of her role as Executive Director. The key to fundraising is building trusted relationships and Sue has raised funds for nonprofit organizations for twenty years.

You may be asking, what will change at 4word with this transition? I am here to assure you that 4word will not only be the same resource and community you’ve come to rely on—it will be even better! How?

4word’s “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” (BHAG) is to empower 10 million Christian women in the workplace to change the world by 2030. In order to do that, we will employ five key strategies:

  1. Improve 4word’s brand messaging and put in place a fully integrated marketing plan
  2. Grow 4word’s digital reach
  3. Become a trusted resource for Christian Employee Resource Groups (“CERG’s”)
  4. Expand programming around our C-Level Audience with Community Groups and additional touch points beyond the C-Level Forum and C-Level Brunch prior to the Gala
  5. Execute a sustainable giving program alongside a robust development strategy             

My work with 4word as Visionary will focus on governance, strategy, and key relationships, and Sue will be focused on fund raising, overall operations, and the financial health of the organization as Executive Director. I will continue to communicate with our Board and Advisory Board regarding meetings, financial gifts, news, etc. and will be the key recruiter in adding to both of those 4word boards. I will also continue to “steer the ship” and keep the 4word team focused on the five key strategies listed above.

Since founding 4word, most of the donor relationships we have been blessed with have been personally cultivated by me. I am blessed to now have Sue Bailey and Laura Aguero, 4word’s Development Director, to lead this effort. There are some very key donor relationships that I will continue to steward, plus others like Toyota Motor North America.

I hope that you have read this announcement and felt the same surge of excitement and drive to see this new chapter of 4word succeed and reach its 2030 BHAG goal of 10 million Christian women in the workplace empowered to change the world. Can you even imagine the kingdom impact that goal could have? I believe God placed Sue into the 4word team “for such a time as this,” and I believe that God has big plans for her as she leads 4word.

As I look back on the last ten years I’ve spent as Founder and Executive Director, I wholeheartedly believe that we would not be where we are today without the generosity and dedication of our donors, Board and Advisory Board members, mentors, Community Group leaders, interviewees for all of our digital content, and our staff. To all of you: thank you!

And thank you for supporting 4word and the tireless work that the 4word team has faithfully carried out over the last ten years. Together, we will continue to surrender our time, talents, and treasure to the One Who gave it all to us, and together, we will journey forward into the next exhilarating chapter in 4word’s history.

A message from Sue Bailey, Executive Director for 4word

As the new Executive Director of 4word, I am filled with both honor and a desire to serve as I join this remarkable team of women leaders changing the world for Christ. I have been blessed by Diane’s friendship and inspiration for many years. I think we can all agree, she does not shy away from God’s calling and has dedicated her life to serving Him to grow the Kingdom. I look forward to developing relationships with all the 4word women and grow in knowledge and wisdom from each of you.


Be part of a global mission to impact 10 million women to integrate their faith at home and at work. 4word is a global organization with expansive networks connecting women every day. Join us and be part of the journey. To learn more about Journey 4word, click here!